Sunday, March 06, 2005

That other quagmire 

A great cautionary perspective from Sam Vaknin, journalist, author and former economic advisor to the government of Macedonia: how the international community saved Kosovo from total destruction but stuffed up its economy:
"Kosovo teaches us lessons which should be diligently applied in Iraq. The involvement of a long-term active military component intended to guarantee basic law and order is crucial. U.N. administrations are good at reconstruction, rehabilitation - including humanitarian aid - and institution-building.

"But they are utterly incompetent when it comes to the economy and to protecting minorities from the majority's wrath. Pecuniary matters are best left to private sector firms and consultants while helpless minorities better start praying.

"Worse still, as opposed to an occupying army, whose top priority is to depart - U.N. bureaucracies fast gravitate towards colonialism. The U.N.-paid and U.N.-sanctioned rulers of both Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina exercise powers akin to erstwhile British viceroys. Nor do they have any incentive to terminate their position - gratifying as it is to both their egos and their wallets."
I would imagine that creating viable free market economies ranks pretty low on the UN's list of nation-building priorities. And just how many free marketeers do you think there are working for the UN anyway? Forget Peace Corp; we need Market Corp to send our youngest and brightest around the world to fix up after the UN.


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